For both of us, the kitchen is our happy place – we love spending time preparing meals for our families and experimenting with new recipes.
But when our kids were babies? That was a different era! When those all-night nursing sessions hit or a new tooth was threatening to erupt we didn’t always have the energy (literally!) to expend on making dinner for everyone in the family, let alone for the baby!
Maybe you can relate or maybe you just don’t really enjoy cooking at all. Regardless, we can probably all agree that there are times when it’s a lifesaver to have foods you can just buy and serve to your baby – no prep needed!
Lucky for you we’re sharing 8 whole food baby foods you can buy and serve. And yes, you read that right, these are foods we would categorize as being “whole foods,” which we take to mean minimally processed.
These little fish pack a big nutritional punch! They’re loaded with omega 3 fatty acids, an important type of fat for brain and vision development. When shopping for your baby, you’ll want to look for cans that are boneless and lower in sodium.
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Salmon is another great source of omega-3 fatty acids. And when you buy it canned, it’s already cooked and perfectly flaky! Just be careful if the variety you’ve bought contains bones as you’ll want to remove those when serving to your baby.
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When feeding tofu – a pressed soy product – to your baby all you have to do is open the package, slice, and serve! There are a variety of tofu textures available. All of them are baby-friendly but for handheld self-feeding, we think the firmer varieties (firm and extra firm) hold up to the squishing power of a baby’s hands.
But if you’re wanting a bit more flavor you’ll have to try our Brain Boosting Tofu Strips in the Whole Food Recipes for Your Baby ebook.
Canned Green Beans
There are plenty of canned veggies you can try offering your baby. We like green beans because they’re already the perfect size, shape, and texture! Just rinse off the extra sodium before offering your baby.
Does ‘baby food’ get any more classic than bananas? This is a great all-around food for babies. Whether you want to offer foods handheld for self-feeding (aka baby led weaning style) or you prefer to start off with spoon feeding, bananas are up for the challenge! And you don’t need special equipment for making banana purée. Just take a fork and mash until smooth.
Frozen Avocado Chunks
Does thawing food count as prep? If so, it’s incredibly minimalist. Avocados offer both fat and Vitamin C for your baby -two key nutrients when starting solids. But fresh avocados can be such divas – when they’re ripe they don’t give you much wiggle room to eat them before they become over-ripe and unpleasant to eat. Enter frozen avocado chunks – they’ve been frozen and locked in at peak ripeness so all you have to do is defrost and serve.
A magical thing happens when fruit is frozen and defrosted: they become mushy! Okay, maybe mushy is not usually the most desired trait in a fruit but when it comes to feeding your baby it is! Frozen and thawed strawberries are nice and squishable, making them a safe texture.
Peanut and Nut Butters
Again, we’re treading into slight prep territory, but it’s minor – all you need to do to make nut butters a safe texture for your baby is to thin it out with water, pumped milk, or prepared formula. Peanuts are a top allergen for babies and the latest research shows that offering the top allergens early and often can help reduce the risk of your baby having an allergic reaction!
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There you have it – 8 no prep whole food baby foods! Here at Happy Healthy Eaters, it’s our mission to help you feed your baby confidently and easily.
Our e-course Start Solids Confidently, is a one-stop-shop resource to guide you through everything you need to know – from timelines to how to prepare food in the safe size, shape, and texture, to how to adapt your cultural recipes so your baby can join in, to how to conquer the fear of choking and allergies!
Speaking of allergies, several of the foods in this list are on the top allergen list and should be introduced in a strategic manner. Our e-course covers the latest research and protocols for allergen introduction.
Stock Your Kitchen
In the same way that you don’t NEED to buy baby-specific foods, you don’t have to buy baby-specific kitchen gear either! Here are a few of our favourite gadgets for feeding babies: